JIS News

Transport and Works Minister, Michael Henry, has said that the newly opened Departures Building at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston, pointed to a significantly improved travel experience for commuters.
The new facilities, which were officially opened yesterday (Oct. 21), by Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, signalled the completion of the new and refurbished departures building, and other works, which comprised the largest component of Phase 1A of a three-phased 20-year Capital Development Programme, that has been ongoing at the airport since 2004.
Mr. Henry said that the opening of the new facilities was a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to “meeting the global needs and expectations of a country that needs to grow. This is very important to the travelling public and the general airport partners on one hand, and in positioning the facility for privatisation on the other hand which is where we are heading.”
Under Phase 1A of the NMIA modernisation and expansion programme, a three-level Departures Wing, has been integrated with the existing Ticketing Concourse. A screening and a new departures lounge with food and retail concessions is now in place. In addition, there is now a new departure check-in hall on the ground floor to accommodate travellers and well-wishers; 66 airline check-in positions; and nine boarding gates with computerised check-in and boarding facilities.
Six Common Use Self Service (CUSS) check-in kiosks; state-of-the-art automated baggage handling system; flight/gate/baggage information display systems; Public Address (PA) system; and Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTV); have also been set up. The facility also now boasts an expanded outbound immigration and security screening; new escalators and elevators; and a new departure lounge with food and retail concessions on the upper level.
Other new facilities and improvements include: a new two-level passenger pier; the renovation of the terminal arrivals area, including the immigration and customs hall; there are now nine passenger boarding bridges; new directional signs; new bathroom facilities; Automated Banking Machines (ABM); upgraded infrastructure for roadways and curbside facilities; and an expanded public car park providing 700 parking positions.
Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller in her remarks, called for the beautification of the airport corridor. “I really believe we need to create something right there going on to Florizel Glasspole Boulevard, unto Michael Manley Boulevard, and we need to fix up Marcus Garvey Drive, and all of these areas, (so) that our visitors will love it, will come and enjoy and will want to return again and again,” she emphasised.
In the meantime, the Transport Minister also advised that the upgrading of a number of local aerodromes including the Boscobel aerodrome in St. Mary, would commence next month (November).
“We are upgrading the first jet port entry, not at the level at which we want it…but sending the full signal that Jamaica is open for business in the aeronautical industry, (which) is going to play a significant part in (the nation’s) development,” he said.
Mr. Henry also informed that preliminary assessments to determine the feasibility of developing an aerodrome in Duckenfield, St. Thomas was well advanced.